England Sevens star Dan Caprice has been snapped up by French giants Biarritz.
The Kent-based wing has signed a two-year deal to play in the Top 14 and Heineken Cup after impressing in the HSBC Sevens World Series last season. Caprice, 21, had spells with Saracens and Blackheath before becoming part of the first intake of full-time England Sevens players last summer.
Caprice said: “I’m pretty excited about the move and really looking forward to it. It was a hard decision to make but I’d always wanted to play in France. They’re one of the top teams in Europe and you only have to look at the players there to see that the chance to train day-in, day-out with them is great. The coaching staff are brilliant and I was blown away by the place when I went over there.”
Biarritz, who are grouped with Ospreys, Benetton Treviso and Caprice’s former club Saracens in next season’s Heineken Cup, have also signed Fiji sevens captain Seremaia Burotu this summer.
“It’s great that they’re looking at young players and sevens players in particular,” he said. “Jack Isaac, their backs coach, has a sevens background and they see sevens player as good enough as players and athletes to fit in with the exciting rugby they want to play.”
A product of the Medway and Maidstone clubs, Caprice made his England Sevens debut at Hong Kong in 2009 and appeared in 16 tournaments. His personal highlights are the 2010 Dubai victory he helped secure with key tries against Fiji and Australia, appearing in the Commonwealth Game in Delhi and his first international outing.
“My England Sevens debut came out of the blue when I was on loan with Blackheath,” he said. “I went out to Hong Kong at short notice and scored a hat-trick against China in my first game which was really surreal. Winning Dubai last season was fantastic and when you reflect, having to beat Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and Samoa one after the other to win the title, it was a brilliant achievement.”
England Sevens head coach Ben Ryan said: “Dan is a great example of a sevens player going on to be noticed by a top European team. We wish him every success with the next stage of his career and he’s developed really well during the time he’s spent with England Sevens. In a short space of time with us he’s gone from being an academy player to a world class sevens player.”